Friday, September 3, 2010

Problems with the New England/Great Lakes Model

The scriptures tell us that “the land on the northward was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful” and that “it was only the distance of a day and a half’s journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward” (Alma 22:31-32; 50:11, 30, 34).

Certainly, this Great Lakes Theorists’ map does not agree with scripture and one can only wonder why it was ever developed in the first place. But like all other maps of this general area, none are consistent with all (or even most) scripture outlining the Land of Promise. Using this particular map as a typical Great Lakes model, several discrepancies can be pointed out, as others have already done.
• First of all, the narrow neck of land shown that runs east and west, thus not dividing the north land from the south land as the scriptures indicate.
• There is no real distinctive line separating the Land Northward from the Land Southward.
• The Land Southward is not “nearly completely surrounded by water” except for this narrow neck.
• Hagoth could not have launched his ships into the west sea that took their course northward—this west sea runs south by southwest.
• While the River Sidon is identified, there is no city of Zarahemla shown, yet the two are in close proximity to each other (Mormon 1:10).
• The River Sidon is shown emanating from the East Sea, yet it was near Zarahemla in the west.
• The Land of First Inheritance, shown as the land of Lehi-Nephi, is shown on the east coast rather of the west coast (Alma 22:28).
• The Ripliancum shown on this map is certainly not indicative of the definition of this word which means “large, or to exceed all” (Ether 15:8) which in most interpretive value would suggest a large ocean such as the Sea North.
• Ogath is shown to the east of Ripliancum when it is south according to the scriptures (Ether 15:10).
• Morianton is on the west shore of the West Sea in the map, but is located on the eastern seashore (Alma 50:25) by Lehi which is not shown at all on the map.
• Jacobugath (3 Nephi 9:9) is shown in the Land Southward when the scriptures place it in the Land Northward where Jacob built up his kingdom (3 Nephi 7:9-12)
• Alma is shown far to the west of Lehi-Nephi, yet the scriptures suggest it would be to the north on some type of route to Zarahemla (Mosiah 24:20, 24-25).
• Cumorah on the map is separated by the Sea East from Ramah which, in the scripture, are the same place (Ether 15:11).
• Teancum is shown far from the narrow neck of land, yet the scriptures place it “near the city Desolation” (Mormon 4:3).
In short, like all Great Lakes maps modeling the Land of Promise, the sites do not match the scripture, the locations are skewed, and the clear and simple understanding of the geography as stated in the Book of Mormon is complicated beyond use.

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